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Dena Kaplan
Dena Kaplan at the 2012 AACTA Awards (6795417599).jpg
Kaplan at the 2012 AACTA Awards
Born (1989-01-20) 20 January 1989 (age 35)
Occupation Actress, dancer, model, DJ
Years active 1996–present
Spouse(s) Jared Daperis
Relatives Gemma-Ashley Kaplan (sister)
Ariel Kaplan (sister)

Dena Amy Kaplan (born 20 January 1989) is a South African-born Australian actress, singer, dancer, and DJ. She is best known for her role as Abigail Armstrong in Dance Academy.

Life and career

Kaplan was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her mother and grandmother were both ballet dancers. Kaplan's father was a musician and her grandfather was an actor. Dena comes from a Jewish family. She has an older sister Gemma-Ashley Kaplan and a younger sister Ariel Kaplan, who played Lisa Atwood #2 on The Saddle Club. Kaplan moved to Australia in 1996, at age seven. After watching Gemma taking ballet lessons Dena followed in her footsteps.

Kaplan attended Mount Scopus Memorial College and had dance training at numerous schools, including Australian Ballet School, Jane Moore Academy of Ballet and City Dance Centre. She first appeared onstage alongside David Campbell in The Production Company's Carousel, playing Louise, a non-singing solo ballet part in the second act of the show. Her second major appearance was as a dancer/singer in Disney's musical production of The Lion King. She moved to New York City to study at the Ailey School and Broadway Dance Center.

Her first television role was in 2005 on the Network Ten spy series Scooter: Secret Agent as one of the party girls. In 2007, she appeared as Deborah Statesman in an episode of Australian police drama City Homicide. In 2009, she played Keli in an episode of Flight Of The Conchords and starred in the film In Her Skin alongside Rebecca Gibney. She was then cast in the series "Dance Academy" and in the same year was cast as Stephanie Wolfe in City Homicide. In 2011, Kaplan starred as the love interest in Chris Sebastian's music video for "Flow". During 2013 she was cast in the role of Sarah Brennen in Camp. A TV series that was set to star Gemma, Dena, and Ariel was workshopped.

Dena Kaplan is an ambassador for Soi Dog Foundation and together with her sisters, she is an ambassador for the Australian Cervical Cancer Foundation.

Kaplan lives in Sydney, Australia.

In December 2022, Kaplan announced her pregnancy via her Instagram page.

In November 2023, she expressed that she does not support a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas War via her Instagram page.


Dena Amy - Wait For You // 2016 Dena Amy ft. London Topaz - Your Eyes // 2017 Dena Amy ft. Kyle Waston - Diamonds Elle Skies' // 2017 Dena Amy - Jol // 2018


Jared Daperis & Dena Kaplan Red Carpet
Kaplan with Jared Daperis, 2013
Film and television roles
Year Title Role Notes
2005 Scooter: Secret Agent Party Girl Episode: "Operation: Double Oh"
2007 City Homicide Deborah Statesman Episode: "The Ripe Fruits in the Garden"
2009 In Her Skin Pregnant Girl with Pram
2009 Flight of the Conchords Keli Episode: "Unnatural Love"
2010 City Homicide Stephanie Wolfe Episode: "Atonement"
2010–13 Dance Academy Abigail Armstrong Main role
2012 Tricky Business Minnesota Smith Recurring role
2012 Mrs Biggs Trish Episode: "1.5"
2013 Camp Sarah Brennen Main role
2014 Doctor Blake Mysteries, TheThe Doctor Blake Mysteries Amelia Yorke Episode: "Crossing the Line"
2015 Della Mortika Beatrix Della Morte Short film; in post-production
2016 Honey 3: Dare to Dance Nadine Direct to video
2017 Dance Academy: The Movie Abigail Armstrong Theatrical Film
2021 Long Story Short Feature Film

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Dena Kaplan para niños

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